ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — On the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, 50 lucky earthlings in St. Petersburg were transported to the moon.
The out-of-this-world experience was possible thanks to “Imagined Realities,” Imagine Museum’s virtual reality studio.
“It was just really cool looking around and seeing the sun and the earth and the stars and everything,” said St. Pete resident Emma Christie.
“Space travelers” put on virtual reality headsets to witness sights and sounds that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin experienced when they landed on July 20, 1969.
“I looked down and I saw gloves and my legs in astronaut uniform, so that was a cool experience,” said Cocoa Beach resident Jeff Kohler.
“Being able to have that transformative experience and just get that ‘wow’ moment, I think, has been a really positive and overwhelming takeaway for guests at the museum,” said virtual reality coordinator Kurdt Allan.
Emma Christie had a tough time coming back down to earth.
“(It was) terrifying, and then you realize, “Oh I’m not actually there, I can calm down,” she said.
But that fear, she says, made remembering the anniversary that much more special.
“Honestly I have such a high respect. I already had that respect, but I think, like, seeing how scared I was in that moment, before I was like, ‘Hey this isn’t real,'” she said. “I have that greater respect because, hey, they went through that, they had that scared feeling and they had to stick with that.”
Imagined Realities is offering the Apollo 11 experience for $5 in the month of July. All other VR experiences are $10.
For tickets and information, click here.